Pork: the names given to this delicacy have changed with the times but some have stuck. From P1G, Kasolo Kegwanga, Mutaka to Mutambuza Dembe. No matter what you call it, one thing that is almost universally agreed on is that Kampala loves pork – and specialises in cooking, roasting, and frying it to delicious perfection. There are few other topics in Kampala on which almost everyone has such divided opinions. Just ask the question, ‘which pork joint is best?’ and most people will give their definitive answer as if that should end all debate. So if your faith, culture or stomach does not forbid pork let’s delve into the controversy about the best pork joints in Kampala.
1. Nicodemus Pork Joint
Nicodemus Pork Joint has branches in Nakulabye and Makerere (Sir Apollo Kaggwa road). As you drive past or ride your Footsubishi (walk) along this road, the sweet aroma of roasted pork sweeps through your nostrils and you can order a stick or two. “It has been around since Uganda got independence” says Richard Kamya, a student of Makerere University.
Zanzi is one of the other popular pork joints among Kampala residents. It has branches in Kiwatule, Ntinda, Lweza and Naguru. Zanzi pork joints are popular mostly due to presentation of their dishes and the pork quality. They are also strategically located in residential areas and they have a family atmosphere about them with ample parking space.
Patricia Kahill a resident of Kiwatule contends that Zanzi is the best pork joint in Kampala because, “The pork is served fast. It is well presented with additions like cassava, avacados, matooke and Irish potatoes. The place is appropriate for family outings or meetings and above all their pork is very tasty. Weekends come with a DJ mix from the in-house DJ.”
Moses Mwangi, a Kenyan DJ living in Kampala says, “Zanzi (Kiwatule) is my favorite pork joint in Kampala. I am always assured to catch all the live football action as I enjoy my pork and sip on a cold beer on weekends. Plus they also have an on-site washing bay. Zanzi is my kind of place”
Collins Mugume, on the other hand, says, “Joglo’s is my favorite pork joint although more expensive than most pork eat outs, the pork is better seasoned and comes with extras unlike other places where the pork is dry pieces.” Drile Victor agrees saying, “Joglos is my spot, the pork quality is great. Their management is organised, customer care is super, parking is reasonable and there is a decent crowd, no rowdy swiggers. The pork has no fats and enough serving.”
Kenny G also agrees saying, “yeah Joglos is my joint. It is now accessible due to the Northern bypass and it has easy access from Ntinda, Nalya, Kyambogo, Bweyogerere Kireka Kiwatule. It is very spacious with ample parking space. A stick goes for 3,000 (UGX) but is very tasty”
4. Deep Blue
Emi Sakamoto, a Japanese national who lived in Uganda for a year weighs in on the debate. “I love Ugandan pork with kachumbari (sliced raw tomatoes mixed with onions) and cassava. I ate pork from many pork joints in Kampala but the best pork I had in Kampala was at Deep Blue pork joint in Wandegeya. That place has the most tasty pork in the whole of Kampala”.
5. Hakuna Matata
With branches in Ntinda, Kabalagala and Makindye, Hakuna Matata appears to be the place to go for its popular for its roasted pork. Kilama Ochola says “This is the best pork joint in Kampala as regards to the speed at which the pork is served, the ambience in the place, the aroma of the pork and the fact that it’s in my neighborhood of Kabalagala.”
Yakobos, located in Ntinda along Kiwatule road is another popular pork joint in Kampala. Steve William Magara, a doctor, points out, “The fact that it’s strategically located near the road and the pork served is so tasty to my liking makes it the best pork joint in the whole of Kampala. Parking is not that big, Roasted pork takes a short while, like five minutes, while the fried one depends on how many orders they have.”
7. Rise and Shine
Rise and Shine pork joint is another crowd favourite. Located after Kardic Hospital in Bukoto, you are always sure to find a large number of customers enjoying pork in this place. The pork here is roasted and fried with cabbages. When you order for fried pork you will have to consider the wait time as it is prepared to order and they always seem to have a large number of orders.
Another Kampalite, John Sebunya weighs in with another option, “The best pork joint in Kampala is Rhinos. The pork here is very tasty and they have pool tournaments so as a big fan of Pool am always here on weekends.” Rhinos pork joint has branches in Ntinda and Nakulabye.
This list doesn’t even take into account all the small, hole-in-the-wall pork joints dotted about every neighbourhood in Kampala – some of which serve excellent pork but are kept secret by their devoted patrons. Kampalians, tell us what is your best/ favorite pork joint?